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Publishers Join Movement To Wrest More App-Store Subscription Money Away From Apple

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

It looks like Epic Games decision to sue Google and Apple, alleging anti-competitive and punitive reprisals illegally undertaken by both tech giants against Epic when it tried to avoid pay what it says was an unjust "tax". Both companies removed Fortnite, a popular game made by Epic, from their respective app stores when the company tried to install its own payment mechanism within the apps that wouldn't go through Apple.

In its lawsuit against Apple, Epic Games alleged Apple had become "what it once railed against", citing the company's legendary "1984" ad where Apple accused IBM of trying to drive Apple out of business. Apple was doing the same thing by denying Fortnite and Epic Games access to offer their products on the app store.

Now, it looks like Epic's gambit – ie that more companies, including publishers who have been grumbling over the raw "Apple News" deal that many ended up pulling out of – has paid off. Because on Thursday afternoon, news broke about how a coalition of publishers are seeking to retain 15% more in subscription fees siphoned off by Apple as an additional tax for being displayed in the app store.

The Wall Street Journal, which is also owned by one of the company's backing the complaint, broke the story.

In a letter to Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook on Thursday, a trade body representing the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and other publishers said the outlets are looking to qualify for improved deal terms to keep more money from digital subscriptions sold through Apple’s app store.

News publishers currently pay Apple 30% of the revenue from first-time subscriptions made through iOS apps; that commission is reduced to 15% after the subscriber’s first year.

"The terms of Apple’s unique marketplace greatly impact the ability to continue to invest in high-quality, trusted news and entertainment particularly in competition with other larger firms," said the letter, which is signed by Jason Kint, chief executive of the trade body, Digital Content Next.

We now wait to see whether more groups will join the battle against Apple, as well as Alphabet's "Google Play" app store.


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